Coroner: Some prescription drug overdose deaths may be linked to - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Coroner: Some prescription drug overdose deaths may be linked to raided Med 1st clinic

There's new information into what led federal investigators to raid the Evansville Med 1st clinic back in February.

A newly unsealed federal complaint shows Med 1st is accused of filing false medicare and medicaid claims as far back as 2006. The complaint also claims patients received prescriptions without any medical reason.

The Med 1st clinic on Washington hasn't seen patients since the raid in February.

On Wednesday night, the Vanderbugh County Coroner tells 14 News a number of prescription drug overdose deaths may be linked to that clinic. 

"We give all of our information, directly to them and work with them," Vanderburgh County Coroner Annie Groves says.

Groves says her office now tracks and reports prescription drug overdose deaths directly to the DEA.

"We had a case where we had a gentlemen that had passed away and in his top pocket was blank prescription forms signed by that doctor," Groves says.

The doctor Groves refers to is Diane Crowley, a defendant listed in the complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

Crowley, and two others at Med 1st, are accused of filing false medicare and medicaid claims for injections, office visits, back braces and the improper prescribing of pain medications.

"We thought it was kind of odd that one day we got a subpoena from the federal government for our records, and lo and behold, every one of them had to do with an overdose," Groves says. "We started looking and some of the doctors were all the same."  

The complaint accuses Med 1st of giving injections to virtually every patient with a back problem and falsifying patient records, and allowing billing to government health care programs...

It also accuses Crowley of signing blank prescription pads, then allowing untrained employees to write prescriptions for patients, some who may have been using Med 1st to fuel their prescription drug addictions.

U.S. District Prosecutors are asking for a jury trial in this case. A scheduling conference set for June has been rescheduled for September 4 at 9 a.m.

Related Stories:  

Pain clinic raid causes doctor's suspension 
Federal Agents investigating local pain management clinic
Med 1st won't reopen until doctor's medical license is active again

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